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Category Archives: Money


Anyone watch The Singoff last season? NOTA is awesome! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG0PiVtqLxM I LOVE accapella! There CD comes out in November. This is great too – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbdPeSnXvUY

I started tweaking my play from my undergrad. I had to modernize it big time. I have 5 pages of dialogue right now. I know the concept I want to use. I just have to figure out what I am going to do and what direction I am going to go in.

I taught my third lesson yesterday at the high school I was put in. I have to get my act together with time management. I am so used to doing these damn mock lessons for Kean, that I find I am planning 20-25 minute lessons and then leaving the rest of the period for the activity. I don’t feel comfortable doing that. My cooperating teacher is really great though. She tells not to beat myself up since this is still new to me. Just because someone tells you not to beat yourself up, doesn’t mean you don’t continue to. I am the same way with theater. If I can’t get a song down or dance routine down the first time I do it, I lose my mind. That’s just me. I have that Uncle Ben’s Rice mentality – Instant! By the way, yesterday’s Quote of the Day was from a male student in the 7th period class who when I gave the activity just kind of sat there so I said “Hey too cool for school, you going to write something down or what?” So he says, “I would rather just type it at home. I am not a pre-draft kinda guy.” ALRIGHTY THEN! Too funny. I love the 7th period kids.  

Please tell me why a brand new campus building wouldn’t have computers in the classroom? Of course now I have to borrow a lap top from the professor to do my mock lesson. It’s quite embarrassing. My husband and I are just not in the position to spend money on a lap top right now. Maybe when I get a job but not while I am on unemployment. I swear these things only happen to me. It’s bad enough I am still having flashbacks from the Spring semester. Whatever. What’s going to be is going to be. I have to go back to the scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being losing my father. Where does not having a lap top really fall on that scale? I don’t want to have to go begging for a higher grade though. I’ve already done that once. That’s when my humility surfaces. I hate acting like a big mush. Did you ever notice when you put your heart on your sleeve you regret it later? I guess I am having business flashback where “Kevin” told my husband and I on numerous occasions that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. UGH! I HATE doing that. That’s a character trait I can’t seem to get rid of. Who really appreciates that except your parents and your spouse?

(I would like to wish a Happy 37th Birthday to a friend of 23 years. She knows who she is – Now we can get FV and choose your Kia or my Santa Fe to cruise in. What mid 30s? We are 21 over and over every year! Those were the days of  M. Gizz! :-0)


Today is a GREAT football day! My husband’s team, the Bears, are on at 1 p.m., then the Jets at 4:15 p.m. and then my boys are on at 8:20 p.m. I just love when they play at night. *CAN YOU HEAR THE SARCASM COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?* I get to go to bed aggravated some times. Just lovely. It’s the Manning Bowl II! Lets go Big Blue!

We are just about caught up on the journey or at least we will be fairly caught up after this post. In any case, when I finished the summer semester I think my nerves got the best of me. I wasn’t sure I was ready to do my pre-professional field (one day a week internship) come September. It was bothering me that I was still on unemployment and didn’t have a job. I have this thing about having to contribute to the bill paying. While I am on unemployment, I don’t really consider that “contributing.” With  everything going on with this HORRIBLE governor, I didn’t think there was any way I would get a teaching job come September 2011. At the same time, I was  doing public relations (still am) for a murder mystery group we are a part of. I like doing that. Anything writing related, I love. My first love will ALWAYS be writing, not teaching. My husband said that if I see a job in the paper that I can see myself doing for a long time to submit but not to just submit to anything. I submitted two resumes and never heard anything. I told my husband that was a sign. If I were to get called and hired somewhere, it was meant to be. If not, then it wasn’t and I was meant to stay in school.  At first I was so conflicted as to whether to mail out the first resume. It was for a PR job at a college. I needed an objective opinion so I emailed a friend of mine from Connecticut that I went to college with who has the same passion for writing that I do. We used to work at the local paper together.

I needed some sound objective advice from someone removed from the situation. I explained I had two semesters and two classes left plus the one day a week internship for September. I would be doing my full internship 5 days a week during the Spring semester Jan 2011-May 2011. Heres what was going on in my head in more detail. I had been on unemployment since November 2008. I was tired of not working. Besides working out during the day, I was bored out of my mind and basically found myself doing house wife things – so not me. I don’t know how some women stay home all day. The education program at Kean doesn’t want you working when doing your internship. In the middle of September, the claim I had for unemployment was going to expire. I would start another tier of benefits. The problem was I did not know how much money I would be getting at that point every two weeks but it was believed to be less than what I was currently getting. Our expenses have gone up because we had to get our second new car since the lease expired on our other car. My husband and I both have new Santa Fes. As I stated, my hubby told me if I could find a job that I really wanted to do and could see myself doing for a long time where the salary was good, to go for it. I was conflicted. I didn’t know what to do. Teaching was going to be a fall back position so that I had given myself options career wise with the current state of the economy. However, my love had always been for writing and PR. I love kids, don’t get me wrong, but the excitement I get when I write wasn’t there while I was thinking about it. I had the envelope with my resume, cover letter, and writing samples ready to go for the college PR job. I kept going back and forth whether to mail it or not. The reason I was conflicted was because I didn’t want people thinking I was a quitter in terms of school or that I couldn’t finish anything I start. That seemed to have been my pattern. Since the whole business fiasco, who knew what people would say. Everyone always has an opinion about other people’s business. Whether they tell you to your face is another story. Since losing my job in Nov 2008, I havent really been able to make up my mind about what the hell I wanted to do and I am 35 years old! I didn’t really get a chance to really assess what I wanted to do and really think about it because two months after I lost my job I lost my dad, my pet died, we had a bankruptcy and so on. Who would immediately have a clear head to make a good decision after all that? I was afraid to take a job in the writing/editing field because I have lost my job so many times because of the economy. BUT, if I stayed in school, I am accumulating loans with no guarantee of a teaching job come September which would cause me to look in the writing field anyway. Plus if I stayed in school, I was another year away from working. If I took a job and I lost it again, I was afraid I would be kicking myself for not finishing the program at Kean. I wanted to make the best decision for my family because of this horrible economy. Like I said earlier, I don’t know how much less money from unemployment I was going to get. I was not having any problems in school. I was just trying to figure out what the hell the best decision was for us. God gave me the answer because I did not get any phone calls from either resume I submitted.

I think all the above may have stemmed from fear about actually having to be in a real classroom now and being monitored by a cooperating teacher and supervisor. It wasn’t a mock classroom anymore. I didn’t know if I was ready for a real setting.


Sorry there was a lapse in time. I started classes. Today as a matter of fact was my first day interning at a local high school. I will elaborate on being back in college at a later time. Oh boy, I am definitely not used to getting out of bed at 5:10 a.m. The school’s first bell is at 7:20 a.m.

March 20, 2009 – Time for court! My husband and I arrived in a downtown urban area where the court was housed. We walked four blocks to the court building, took the elevator up, and entered the waiting room. The court was PACKED. It was like a sardine can in there. I couldn’t believe all the individuals there for the same reason. Since there wasn’t any room, we stood up against the wall near the entrance and waited for our attorney. When she arrived, she took us into the actual court area we were seated and waited for our case to be called. Supposedly the trustee we were assigned was a real hard ass. When our case number was called, the trustee asked if counsel was present. We approached the table and answered all his questions. He was actually very nice to us. My attorney was shocked at how well he treated us. We explained everything. He had a copy of our Quickbooks. It was very easy to see how much money we lost from this lemon. Listening to him read back our situation left a sour taste. We were sitting with him no more than 10 minutes. He concluded our meeting by saying, “I am assuming you wouldn’t be here if it had not been for this business, correct?” We answered, “correct” in unison. That was it. Our attorney bought us lunch and we left our future in the trustee’s hands. It was another waiting game.

In the next month and month and a half we received news on both fronts. My test scores had come in to ETS Testing Service and we received a letter in the mail from the district court. Nervously I logged into the test site. I clicked on test scores and up they came. WOO HOO! I passed! I got a 164. In order to get a Certificate of Eligibility, a score of 162 had to be obtained.  

When my husband got home from work we opened the letter from the Bankruptcy court – DISCHARGED! The feeling was unbelievable. It was like having an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders. Bye Bye Albatross! We craved a fresh start and now we were going to finally have the chance to get one. One can only watch The Secret so many times!

When I received my Certificate of Eligibility in English in the mail, I started to submit resumes for a Teacher of English position to various districts. I even submitted for Teacher Aide positions. I had two interviews for an Aide’s position out of the 30 something resumes I sent out. This is another situation one has to laugh at. I wonder if people even look at resumes before they call you in.

The Alternate Route path was not working out. A friend of my husband’s who is a principal told him for every position open, the district was receiving 200 resumes. He also said that when he received resumes he separated them into 3 piles – Experience, No experience, and Alternate Route. If someone was alternate route, he didn’t even bother with the resume. Apparently student teaching was a very important component to most districts. That prompted a discussion with my husband about applying to college and getting the certification the standard way. I hadn’t been in college since 1999. Now at 34 I was applying to go back.


You may ask why we didn’t phone the Franchise corporation duiring all this. We did. They did NOTHING to help. It was more or less a “Too bad so sad” situation. They did not want to hear you weren’t making any money. They didn’t care. As long as they were EFTing your advertising fees and franchise fees every month, to hell with the owners who are making them this money.

My specific franchise went through 3 different local directors. We never even had one of them come to the franchise until 2.5 years into it. The woman wasn’t even our state director. She was the Connecticut director. She had never driven a NJ U-turn before and called our gym in hysterics.

At the same time, the company was coming out with digitalized equipment that would have cost franchisees $5,000.00 plus a fee every month. This company was money hungry. Anyway, when the Connecticut director showed up, I had my best employee out on the floor doing her thing while the director watched clients to see if we trained them with proper form. When the gym closed for the day, my husband and I sat down with this woman. Of course the first thing she tried to do was get us to buy the new equipment. We were like “Yeah um with what?” She got into the “You have to spend money to make money” garbage. How can one spend what one does not have? The corporation’s philosophy I was finding out from other owners was do what you have to do to get money and keep your business afloat. If that meant a home equity loan or draining your savings, so be it. If you had to borrow it, beg, steal, lie, or more or less prostitute yourself, you better do it. If owners’ franchises didn’t make money, the Corporation franchise fee goes down.  In addition, they charged this ridiculous advertising fee every month. Where the hell was the advertising? If you saw one commercial every few months that was a lot.  During this meeting with the Connecticut director, she was explaining how we should give away two month memberships with a  guest pass. She wrote down some notes and said she was going to have our regular state director come up with a game plan and that we would be getting a phone call to help us. We NEVER received a phone call. Membership just kept declining. I even tried giving away almost 100 free 2 month memberships to women in the local school district. They enjoyed the free two months but when their gift certificates expired, none of them joined. It was hopeless.

At this point, we started looking into shutting the franchise down. Oh my God you can’t even imagine what the corporation puts you through. If you break your franchise agreement, they charge you a $10,000 penalty plus all your back franchise and advertising fees for the remainder of your agreement. If you refused to pay them, a lien would be placed on your property or in our case whatever we owned. I found that if this was placed on us and we bought a house in the future, a lien would be placed on future property. The only way out of paying them their money and be totally free of this albatross was to file bankruptcy. During these discussions, higher ups kept trying to talk me into selling the gym for a penny. I’m sorry. You want me to incur lawyer fees for a transaction to sell the franchise for a penny so that the corporation keeps making money while I’m losing my shirt? As they say on ESPN, “COME ON MAN!” This is supposed to be a franchise based on religious individuals? You must be joking! Doesn’t it say in the Bible to “Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing?”


After that phone call I was beyond livid. We went back up to the bank. I started raising my voice to “Barbara” and telling her what the Assistant Director of the SBA said. It was one of those “Uh Uh” moments. She reverted back to how the business isnt making any money. At that point, all I heard was noise – think of the teacher voice on Charlie Brown. That was a dead end obvioulsy.

Months passed and our financial situation got worse. We got a phone call from our realtor. She told us she had a local woman interested in the gym and wanted to know if I could drop her off an extra key and some paperwork. Unlike “Kevin” I  provided a REAL member number list. A little background on this prospective buyer – Think Jersey Shore (tv show) looking with a British accent, what guys would call a “bangin bod,” long nails polished, a lot of makeup, VERY rich and possibly an entire bottle of perfume.  We will call her “Lizzy.” Early on our attorney called her a “tire kicker” and that is exactly what she turned out to be. She kept us on the hook for nine months. Every phone call, whether we spoke to her or her husband, they wanted more and more information and more time. The last phone call we received from them they wanted us to wait longer because they wanted to refinance their house to get extra money for the purchase. Can you even believe it? People this is my life. You can’t make this up. WHY ME? She told us they needed two months and that they wanted us to hold membership steady at the number it was at which at that point I think was about 185 members. We held steady for the two months and never heard from them. Membership started declining even more again due to members losing their jobs or what have you. When we called to get a status update and told her we had the membership steady for two months and never heard from her and how membership declined more, there was dead silence on the other end of the phone. After the silence, she again asked us to wait longer. We gave her a deadline and said if we didn’t hear from her we would have to shut the gym down because we just couldn’t do it on our end anymore.

In addition to the stress of a failing business and a strained marriage, my father was in and out of the hospital from a heart attack, additional chest pains, getting a stent put in, and bleeding. Could it possibly have gotten any worse? It did. I had a pet cockatiel for 14 years. She fell off her perch and started twitching her head. We took her to the vet and the poor bird was a nervous wreck shaking. Not sure if you know anything about cockateils but they get very attached to their owners and don’t like being in strange places. The vet gave us antibiotics that had to be administered with an eye dropper like tool. I hate vets. No offense to any out there. It’s just I have friends that have many animals and every time they took their pets to vets, it wasn’t long after that the pets passed away. My bird was never 100% again but she was ok for a while.

“Lizzy”, my father, and my bird situations happened from the end of 2007 on through almost the end of 2008. Again I said it couldn’t get any worse. Yet another domino fell. On Novemebr 15, 2008 I received a phone call from my full-time job telling me they were laying people off due to the lack of work because of the floundering economy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is happening again NOW?  While I was still working for the company, our department was taken over by a young woman, who honestly had no clue about what we did in this specific aspect. My old boss got a promotion and went to another department. A few times this new woman suggested stuff and it was like “uh yeah we already were doing that.” Anyone that is a woman and works for a woman knows how catty some of them can be especially if they feel threatened because you actually know more than they do and they are supposed to be the boss. In any case, I was once again being layed off in the midst of a failing business. Thank God for unemployment. It was at that time my husband and I had a long talk and said we had enough. That’s when we decided we weren’t waiting for the tire kicker anymore and to now more than ever get control over this.

On the same day I lost my job, I registered for the Praxis II Exam to become an English Teacher. My test was scheduled for a Saturday in March 2009. Years ago when I wasn’t really into the profession I took the test twice because I was working at the first company in another department where I was getting up at 3 a.m. and I needed to get out because it was killing me.  The two times I took the test I didn’t get the score I needed. When I took the test the first two times, I was still at that “I deserve- wooo is me” phase so I really didn’t care if I passed it or not.


Remember in the first several posts, I had mentioned leaving the new department of that one company to work part-time for my old boss? Well, thank God and what a blessing, but the company wanted to hire me full-time. I could still work from home but had to commute an hour+ or so north for meetings, training, or to make an appearance now and again in the office. That was the end of October 2007. This couldn’t have come at a better time. We were losing so much money from this fitness facility and needed the extra money. I had no desire to be at the business anymore. Membership was still dropping like flies, none of the women members were interested in helping out by having their friends join, “Devri” was still being “Devri” – a diva, complaining, self-fish etc. I HATED going there. I was depressed and felt like a fool. I blamed myself for all of this. Now with a full-time job, I had an even better excuse not to go there unless I just wanted to pop in and make an appearance or drop off supplies. Of course “Devri” didn’t approve of me, the owner, having a full-time job. It was okay for “Kevin” but not for me. Why would I want to go to a place that drove me into more of a depressed phase and recluse? If the business was thriving and I had employees and clients that actually cared about people other than themselves, I would have been there all the time. That wasn’t the case. My marriage was being strained because of our finances due to this horrible mistake and being taken advantage of by “Kevin” and crew. 

When I started working full-time, we put the business up for sale. We didn’t have the money that was needed to advertise consistently. We never had enough money to buy the business period but “Phil” was another one who was only worried about his pay day and not his novice clients. I’m not saying none of this is our fault because I could have handled myself differently after losing my job after the promotion and my husband could have stepped up and said we couldn’t do this; however that is not an excuse to be preyed on. We tried to make the best of the situation and tried to refinance our business loan that we received from “Phil’s” guy. We went to the local branch of the bank we received the loan from. When we discussed with one woman higher up in the branch, she had the ordacity to say to my husband and I, “How did you get this loan? You should have never been given it in the first place.” YA THINK? When we explained “Phil” and “Phil’s” connection, she made a call  to the branch where “Phil’s” guy worked to get his assistance. It turned out that the individual that got us the loan no longer worked for this one particular bank. Hmmmm You don’t say  . . . Maybe all his “friendly transactions” finally caught up to him.  She had us sit down with a woman in charge of Small Business loans. We will call her “Barbara.” When we explained the situation to “Barbara” she had the nerve to turn around and blame us! She told us we surrounded ourselves with the wrong people and why would they refinance a loan for a business that has negative income. UM maybe because you had a crook in your loan division that qualified us without any collateral to begin with? She told us the only way we could refinance the business loan was to default on it. Please someone out there tell me how that makes any sense. WHY would we default on a loan that is automatically withdrawn from our business checking account #1 and #2 Why would we lower our FICO scores? This made absolutely no sense to us. They wouldn’t take any responsibility. So we left. In the next couple of weeks we tried again. We tried to reason with her by telling her that we are people that stick to their commitments and want to pay our debts but need some assistance like a lower payment. SNAKE EYES! We backed “Barbara” into a corner, so what did she do now? She blamed SBA and said you cannot refinance a SBA loan. I told her we did not have a SBA loan because SBA said the particular gym we bought discriminated against men and didn’t allow loans for this purchase. She insisted we had a SBA loan. After that meeting, I called SBA. I spoke to the Assistant Director of SBA who searched every record in the SBA database. You ready for his reply? “Maam, you do not have a SBA loan. I don’t know who told you this but I hope you are documenting everything.” Oh my God it was getting worse.  I felt like “Kevin” was a dark cloud following us around puppeteering these people. The only thing we could do at that point was wait to see if maybe we could sell the business. In the meantime, we would pay down our business debts with the extra money coming in from my full-time job.   

There may be a second post tonight to continue. Keep following and checking back!


Had orientation today at Kean University for my upcoming one day a week internship. I got a GREAT Supervisor. He seems very cool, very laid back, and eager to help. THANK GOD! The last thing I needed was some stuffy suit! I am a nervous wreck as it is!

Back to “Rachel” and her husband’s lawsuit against “Kevin.” After heading towards a court date, “Rachel” and her husband
hired a private investigator to check on several of “Kevin’s” dealings. Turns out the couple that bought TWO gyms from “Kevin” were taken for over $400,000 on their deals. Same pattern as with all of us but thank GOD we didn’t spend that much money. There were also other issues as well that we weren’t privy to. The private invesigator tracked down all of “Kevin’s” former employees and looked into his back dealings. He was even looking into whether “Kevin” really had a baby son that died. Can you imagine if that was a lie and he used the same story with all of us? What an absolute DISGRACE! When it got back to “Kevin” about the hiring of the PI, he settled quickly with “Rachel” and her husband. The one thing that was thought about and that was being looked into with “Kevin” was why did he separate himself with so many layers on the gym businesses? The answer was to protect his license. IF he really was sending patients to the fitness facility for treatment as I had said in a few posts ago, he would have been in A LOT of trouble. Needless to say, the private investigator scared the hell out of him and the call to settle with “Rachel” and her husband was within a week them hiring the P.I. They got their deposit back and “Kevin” dropped his lawsuit against them for Breach of Contract. During all of this we contacted “Phil” because we thought about suing him too. Why didn’t he catch any of this? I don’t even think he looked at “Kevin’s” income tax returns.  It was obvious now why “Devri’s” accountant was against her buying the place. Her attitude through all this was not to get her involved because she would have a panic attack on the stand and that she didn’t know anything. COME ON! You worked for the guy all those years and you are gonna tell me you knew NOTHING? She probably did and used the panick attack as an excuse. Regardless of what she wanted, she would have been called if we had gone forward.

My husband and I obviously stopped going to “Kevin” in the chiropractic sense the minute we closed on the gym. After a while he sent us a “final” bill which was ridiculous. While the amount was small, he had given us a fixed rate at the office and then turned around and billed us for the balance. He also insisted that monies we got back from the insurance company were to be signed over to him. We tried to file a complaint with the Sheriff’s Department but he covered all his tracks and made the insurance fraud look legit.  The man is and always will be a crook and a snake. I don’t know who he had cooking his books but what a conartist and fraud. According to our second attorney we had no case with either situation. I’ll never understand that. He probably said that because he knew we didn’t have the money for a long drawn out court battle.

The whole situation with “Rachel” and her husband went on from about September 2006 through Novemebr 2007. We unfortuantely lost touch with them. I still have their contact information but I don’t know if they really want to hear from my husband and I. If they did, they probably would have contacted us.


Hello there world! Hope you had a great day! Had a work out with my trainer today and it was a butt kickin as always! Tomorrow I have orientation at Kean University for my preprofessional one day a week internship at a local high school starting Sept 8. I am hoping to have you all caught up by then! Now back to the journey. . .

Things started to spiral more and more out of control. As we spiraled, I found out “Rachel” and her husband were having issues of their own. It turns out their closing on one of “Kevin’s” gyms never happened.  Apparently “Kevin” pulled the same exact thing on them. In addition, he did the same thing to another couple who bought TWO of his gyms. Can you imagine buying two gyms from “Kevin” and being in double trouble? In case you haven’t figured it out, Kevin was not only a chiropracter, he had owned 5 or 6 of these women’s gyms. He pulled the same exact fraudulant scheme on every one of us – except “Rachel” and her husband were smart and savvy enough to check member numbers the day of the closing and not  close on the deal. On the day of “Rachel” and her husband’s closing, “Rachel’s” husband went into the gym without “Kevin’s” permission to check the membership numbers. Turns out same thing! There were about 30-35+ members less than “Kevin” had said! When “Rachel’s” husband called “Kevin,” “Kevin” tried to insist they couldn’t back out of the deal and he had no control over people deciding to drop their memberships yada yada yada. “Kevin” said he was going to sue them for breach of contract. What happened was “Kevin” FINALLY got caught. Up until now he thought he was this business genius that made all this money and would take advantage of people for greed, but the rat finally got caught cornered in the cage and he was squirming. That’s when the court case started. “Rachel” and her husband wanted their deposit back and any monies that were put into the gym prior to closing – i.e. lawyers fees etc. Of course “Kevin” was not going to give the money back. Are you kidding? “Rachel” and her husband countersued “Kevin.” “Kevin” tried to drag it out and negotiate but “Rachel” and her husband were determined to sue him for fraud. They tried to bring my husband and I in on it. We spoke to their attorney. We didn’t have the money it would cost to get involved so we said we just couldn’t do it. They said the case would be stronger with us involved and said we would be subpoenaed if we didn’t agree. We compromised and said we would write a letter stating what happened to us and there was no doubt what “Kevin” did to “Rachel” and her huband was definitely true. We explained everything in the letter – about the story he gave about his dead son, how we weren’t allowed in the gym at any time without him, the numbers being way off and so on. If only my husband and I went into the gym the morning of OUR closing and looked at the numbers, we wouldn’t be in the position we were in! And it only got worse . . .


The hubby and I utilized our Optimum Rewards Card for free movie day at Clearview. We saw Inception. GREAT movie! I highly recommend it. Be prepared for one million dollar question at the end – Is he still dreaming?

In the last post I told you about all these women drinking the Koolaid down in Texas. Time to discuss when we took over the gym.

When I got home from training, we closed on the business. I had my husband’s power of attorney because he could not get off work. At the closing, “Kevin” was not there. He gave his attorney power of attorney. Every last cent he could get from us he did – for little things. Keep in mind we got a shady no collateral loan from one of “Phil’s” connections at a big name bank based our gym having 275 members and the income that would be generated from that number.

As soon as I got the keys to the gym I drove up there that day to get things going. The place needed to be deatiled clean, painted, new blinds etc. “Kevin” did nothing. When I got there, the manager who we will call “Devri” (more on her in a bit) said there was a message for me already about the water cooler needing to be serviced. When I called the individual back, he had explained how the cooler was supposed to be serviced five months prior but that “Kevin” said he was selling the gym and to “let the new owners deal with it.” This is when one of many domino effects took place. I spent the rest of my time that day meeting members and having them fill out surveys to see how I could have made the place better in addition to the cosmetic aspect. What I started to realize when I went through these women’s surveys was they all had a bond with “Devri.” Every survey said how wonderful she was, that I needed to give her a raise, so on and so forth. The horrible thing is that I never checked how many members we had until three days later. When I did check them, I didn’t even print it out. So stupid. The number was astonishing! The actual number of members was 245! Not 275 that we were told but 245! That was 30 less people! That number dwindled even more when all of “Kevin’s” chiropractic patients started dropping their memberships when we took over the gym. What he did was send his patients to the gym as therapy for their backs and to inflate the numbers! He must have told them once he sells to drop their memberships! We got that loan based on income generated from 275 members! We knew right there we had been had. There wasn’t anything we could do at that point. We didn’t have the money to sue him. He knew we didn’t have a lot of money when we bought from him. He hatched a plan for us in the way beginning. He looked at us as suckers. We got played. The lemon was ours and now we had to spend a lot of money immediately to try and generate memberships on our own. It started to put a strain on my husband and I not only financially but in the marital aspect as well.

I tried using strategies they taught us during training. I had my husband bring an easel from his school so I could display a picture board that was created by the art teacher at my husband’s job. It said, “COUNTDOWN TO A NEW PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.” It basically said we needed X amount more members to be able to buy a new piece of equipment. We hired a painter, we bought new blinds, we scrubbed the place from head to toe, we got a new computer and the list goes on. We even had to have the equipment serviced because “Kevin” wanted to leave that to the new owners as well.

Besides “Devri”, I had to clean house of old employees. The ones I did keep were high school and college kids who didn’t care diddly squat about doing their job or making money for us. They never took part in the promotions we set up. Neither did “Devri.” Little did I know that these women and “Devri” all became close friends and hung out when “Devri” was not at work. That was another pitfall because for the two years we owned this albatross, “Devri’s” loyalties were never to us. It was always to the women. There was never a client/employee relationship. She never tried to push them to get their friends to join. She had no interest in pushing the sales aspect of the business on them. She cared more about maintaining friendships with these women than doing her job as a manager to help turn a profit. In her mind, we were the owners and that was our job just as long as she got a paycheck. Did she ever come out and say all this verbally? No, but her actions spoke volumes. The problem was if we fired her, we lost the whole morning clientele because they were all her “cronies.” This whole thing had become a disaster. We never even met the landlord or the super in charge of the building. Everything was discussed over the phone or through mail. It was my own business and I couldn’t even call the shots. “Devri” claimed she could only work the morning shift which meant if I worked in the gym to cut down payroll it would have to be at night from 4 p.m. -8 p.m. She even tried to pull the whole “I can’t work the day before holidays” line because she had to cook. HELLO? So did I. She didn’t think it was right that I made her work so I, THE OWNER OF THE PLACE AND HER BOSS, can cook for my family for the holidays. We called “Devri” a princess even though she was a short chunky older woman. Her and her husband had money as did her morning client buddies.

More to come . . .


As the closing on the franchise got closer “Phil” who told us in the beginning he would work with us every quarter to make sure we were on the right track, removed himself from our situation. He kept asking for the balance of his money and expected us to buy him an expensive bottle of scotch. The money we gave him. The scotch? Uh no! He turned out to be just like everyone else involved. 

“Kevin” forgot to disclose the fact that training for the franchise was mandatory and that I would have to go to Texas for 5 days for training on my own expense.  It seems “Kevin” forgot to tell us a lot of things.  I found it odd that a corporation would not pay travel and board expenses when they made training mandatory. I had to pay for my own airfare, my own hotel, and my own food and transportation. Do you know at they even charged you a quarter for water at the training facility? A quarter for a water! Anything to make another buck!

On my plane ride down to Texas I happened to notice that the woman sitting across from me on the isle seat was studying the same material I was for the franchise test. So I made conversation. It turned out she was staying in the same hotel as I was so we got to know one another. Let’s call her “Rachel.” It turned out she and her husband were buying one of “Kevin’s” other gyms in a different city. What were the odds? As we started talking, our notes were very similar. He used the same story about his son dying with them. He also told them he wanted to downsize. The only difference between us and them was they had business experience so her husband was one to play hard ball and not take “Kevin’s” shenanigans. If only we followed suit. On the last day of training we both couldn’t wait to go home. “Rachel” and I were meant to meet one another. God puts different people in your life for a reason whether that is a specific stranger, teacher, friend, or partner.  

The funniest thing was how every woman in the training room except “Rachel” and I approached the CEO of the Corporation. Women were lined up with the line wrapped around the room to shake hands with this guy like he was the second coming or something. They were getting autographs and taking pictures with this man. It must have been our New Jesrey attitudes because we wanted no part of that and found it very cult like. Kinda creepy how everyone was drinking the Koolaid. 

When we returned home our spouses happened to be waiting in the same area of the airport so they got to know one another some. We exchanged phone numbers and emails and said we were going to keep in touch. We were going to let each other know what was going on with our respected gyms.  

What happens next with our business and what happens with “Rachel” is unbelievable. Stay tuned!